The elderly Buffalo, New York protester who was pushed down by police officers, is still in the hospital recovering from his injuries. But, even when he is discharged, he will not be able to return home. According to Kelly Zarcone, Martin Gugino's attorney, the 75-year-old has been receiving countless death threats ever since a video of the incident went viral, causing concern for his safety once he is healthy enough to leave the hospital.
Speaking with TMZ, Zarcone said that threats targeting both herself and Gugino have been coming in ever since the incident earlier this month, which was brought to light after a local station published the video on June 4. Along with death threats directed at Gugino, Zarcone says people have threatened to torture her. Many of those threats come from those believing a conspiracy theory that Gugino has a lengthy history of inciting riots and has been arrested 300 times, when in reality, Gugino has been involved in several peaceful protests and has only been arrested four times for peacefully protesting. One of those arrests resulted in a criminal charge for trespassing, though he was acquitted.
Such beliefs gained traction following a June 9 tweet from President Donald Trump, in which he pushed an unfounded conspiracy theory. In his highly controversial tweet, the president suggested that video of the incident was a "set up" and that Gugino "could be an ANTIFA provocateur," citing One America News Network (OANN). The president has aimed ANTIFA, or anti-fascists, in recent weeks, even threatening to designate ANTIFA a terrorist organization, despite that it "is not a unified organization, but rather a loose ideological label" that people tend to attribute to themselves or each other," according to Vox.
Responding to those allegations, Zarcone, in a previous statement, said that Gugino "has always been a PEACEFUL protester because he cares about today's society" and is "also a typical Western New Yorker who loves his family." Zarcone added that "we are at a loss to understand why the President of the United States would make such dark, dangerous, and untrue accusations against him."
The two officers involved in the incident, Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe, were suspended without pay and later arrested and charged with second-degree assault. Gugino, meanwhile, remains hospitalized. According to Zarcone, the 75-year-old suffered a fractured skull and a brain injury as a result of the incident and is currently unable to walk.